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Running to Win the Prize

Date: 07/01/2012 
In 1983, a 61 year old sheep and potato farmer named Cliff Young decided to participate in the world's toughest race, a 544 mile, ultra-marathon from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia. When the 150 world class athletes gathered at the starting line, they were amused to see old Cliff enter the race wearing overalls with galoshes over his boots.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? In 1983, a 61 year old sheep and potato farmer named Cliff Young decided to participate in the world's toughest race, a 544 mile, ultra-marathon from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia. When the 150 world class athletes gathered at the starting line, they were amused to see old Cliff enter the race wearing overalls with galoshes over his boots.

As soon as the race started the pros quickly left Cliff shuffling behind. Spectators were hoping someone would stop the crazy old man before he hurt himself but the old farmer kept plotting along. Normally, the contenders run about 18 hours and sleep six hours during the seven-day race. The thing is, no one told Cliff he was supposed to stop and sleep so while the other runners slept, he kept on running, gaining on the pack a little more each day.

By the last night, he passed all the world class athletes. By the last day, he was way out in front of them. Incredibly, not only did Cliff run the Melbourne to Sydney race at age 61 without dying, he won first place, breaking the record by nine hours and becoming a national hero. When asked how he could run all night, Cliff said, “See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn't afford horses and whenever the storms would roll in, I'd have to go out on foot and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 heads; and sometimes I'd have to run those sheep for two to three days nonstop."

Throughout the race he just kept imagining that he was chasing sheep and trying to outrun the storm. When Cliff was awarded the first prize of $10,000, he said he didn't know there was a prize and insisted that they split it among the other lead runners. The nation fell in love with the 61-year old vegetarian who came out of nowhere to defeat the World's best long distance runners. His secret was to run while others were sleeping. Stay with us friends. We're going learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well listening friends, we are glad that you are listening. This is Bible Answers Live. If you have a Bible question, that's what this program is all about. You can call in with your Bible question now. We have lines open, several lines open. The number, free phone call, 1-800-GOD-SAYS; that's 1-800-463-7297. One more time to give you a chance to get your pencil and call in with your Bible question, 1-800-463-7297. Good time to pick up your phone and give us a call to get your question on tonight's program. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends. Pastor Doug, let's begin the program with prayer. Father, once again as we start this program, we want to ask Your special blessing. We know that in order to understand the Bible, we need the leading of the Holy Spirit. So be with us here in the studio and be with those who are listening wherever they might be. For we asked this in Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program with really a remarkable story, a 61-year old who ran more than 500 miles. I find it interesting he didn't even realize that there was a $10,000 prize for first place, which, of course, they got; and yet, he did it for the joy of running.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it's just amazing. He thought, "Well, I heard they've got a race going all this distance from Melbourne to Sydney." His farm he grew up on is outside Melbourne. He thought, "I think I'll enter that race." I also thought it was interesting he was a vegetarian.

But the real spiritual lesson here goes along with what you find in the Bible, 1st Corinthians 9:24 and 25. Paul here says, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you might obtain it." It makes me think of Cliff. When everyone else was bedding down for the night he thought, "Well, I'm just not going to catch up unless I just keep on going."

I used to work as a security guard. After working in one job all day, then I had to be a security guard and I had almost no sleep. And sometimes you get so tired trying to stay awake when you know you can’t go to sleep. It's a real battle. Trying to run all night when you're that tired, it's really phenomenal that he was able to do that. I don't know if he sat down and took some cat naps when he had his little meals along the road, but somehow he just kept plotting and going and going until he passed them all up.

It makes me also think about that statement in the Bible where Jesus said that we want to be on our guard. We don’t want to be found sleeping when the Master comes. So in the same way, Cliff refused to sleep when others were sleep and so he got the prize. Sometimes we all need a little encouragement not to give in so easy, and not to give up so easy. When you make the decision to be a Christian, a lot of people have made that decision; but then like the seeds sewn in the stony ground, eventually the worries of life or the temptations choke the seed.

We need to be persistent and say, "Lord, by Your grace, I am going to press on." We have a lesson to encourage you in your walk with Jesus. Once you take up the race and once you begin to follow Him, you don’t stop and you don’t turn back. Tell us about that Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The study guide is entitled, "No Turning Back." I like the picture on the front cover, it's a skydiver jumping out of the plane. Well, the moment he lets go and jumps, there is no turning back. For the Christian, when we make that decision to follow Jesus, we want make sure that we don’t turn back.

So we'll send that to you for free if you call our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747; again, that number is 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line. If you have a Bible question, the number to call 1-800-463-7297. The number again to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. Also if you're close to your computer, Pastor Doug, not only can our listeners hear this program but they can actually see it by going to Live.AmazingFacts.org; just simply Live.AmazingFacts.org.

One other announcement before we go to the phone lines. We'd like to welcome a new station that is carrying Bible Answers Live, and it is Hilo, Hawaii. That's KCIF 90.3 FM. Hilo, Hawaii; I've been there, beautiful place. Lots of rain but just a beautiful little place there on the island of Hawaii.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We'll give priority tonight.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Anyone listening from Hilo give us a call. We'd love to hear from you and get your Bible question on the air. Alright, we're going go to our first caller this evening. We have Cody who is listening from Canada. Cody, welcome to the program.

Cody: Hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi. Thanks for calling, and your question?

Cody: Yeah, I just had a question. It's about fate. You know how some people say fate is like a predetermined thing? You know, "If I'm going die today, if God wants me dead today, then I'll die."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, are you wondering if you still have a choice in it, if your will makes a difference?

Cody: Yeah. Yeah. That's the idea. That's what I'm wondering, you know.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, absolutely. You know, the Lord tells us that whosoever believes in Him should be saved. That means we get to choose to believe. Joshua said at the end of his life to the children of Israel, he said, "Whoever you want to serve, choose this day who you'll serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

In other words, we have a choice. God's Spirit will work on people's hearts, but because He wants our love, He can't force us. We really do have freedom to choose. And so some people say, "Well, whether or not I choose God, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. It doesn't really matter so I'll just go on with my life and if it's meant to be, it's meant to be." That's a very deadly kind of fatalism. We can make a difference in our destiny by the choices we make.

Cody: Well see, that’s the thing, I've heard that some people believe that if they believe in God, that they're going die when they're going die, so some people do reckless things even because they're like, "If God wants me dead, I'll die. If God doesn’t want me dead, then I won't die."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That was one of the first mistakes that the devil put on the human race. And it was one of the temptations that the devil used on Jesus. He [Satan] took Christ to the top of this pinnacle on the temple and he said, "Look, if you're the Son of God, just jump off because there's a Scripture that says, 'The angels will bear thee in their hands lest you dash you're foot against a stone." And Jesus said, "Thou shall not tempt the Lord your God."

So people who do reckless things and say, "Well, if I'm meant to die...." Well, God doesn't want any to perish; and if they're being reckless and tempting the Lord, they may die prematurely. It's just a fact.

Cody: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So yeah, God doesn’t want us taking unnecessary risks; and Christians are not immune to the violence of the acts of others.

Cody: Yeah. Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: All of us in this world, our decisions react and interact with others.

Cody: So basically the answer is no; the idea of fate and predetermined courses is not a reality?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it's not, and we have a book that we can send you, "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?" It's really a lesson that talks about how far can we go with our choice. God is sovereign, but does He gives us any choice in determining our destiny.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled, "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?" We'll send that to you for free if you'd call our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. If you have a Bible question, the number to call to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Gardner and he’s calling from Yonkers, New York. Gardner, welcome to the program.

Gardner: Yes, my question was 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 3.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Gardner: The man of perdition.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright.

Gardner: You know, I would assume that most people are anticipating one evil person, but this particular "man of perdition" seems to be someone different, is it?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well let me read this for our friends Gardner. You know what you’re looking at and I do, but a lot of people are wondering what we're talking about. The verse is 2nd Thessalonians 2, verse 3.

Well you know, I'd like to even back up a little bit and start with verse 1. "Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind, or troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by letter as from us, as though the day of the Lord had come. Let no one deceive you by any means: for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first,” that's speaking of a falling away in the church, not the world; the world has already fallen.

"And the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." So, most scholars believe that this is speaking of the same antichrist individual that is mentioned in Revelation chapter 13 and Daniel chapter 7; because it talks about this beast power blaspheming God. In other words, putting himself in the place of God.

Now keep in mind, when it says, “...he sits in the temple of God, showing himself he is God,” some people say, "The temple, I wonder what temple? That must mean they're going rebuild the Jewish temple." Not necessarily. The Bible tells us that the church is the temple of God. It says, "What? Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?"

And Christ said the church is His body; and He said, "Destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I will make one without hands." So this antichrist power sits as in authority over the church, claiming the prerogatives of God, asking to be worshiped. Now, some have wondered, "Is this antichrist power the devil incarnate in a human? Is it one individual person, or is it an office, a position that is held?"

We’ve got a lesson we'll send you for free. It talks about who is the antichrist. For us to cover that study in the three minutes we budget for the program is going be hard Gardner. So let us send you the lesson; anyone, if you'd like it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for our free resources is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, "Who is the Antichrist?" That is a Bible study dealing with this very important subject. The Bible warns us against this antichrist power. “Who is the Antichrist?" We'll send it to you for free, 1-800-835-6747.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Put on your seat belt before you read it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It is. It doesn’t hold back anything in that study guide. If you have a Bible question, the number again to our studio is 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Brandon. Brandon, welcome to the program.

Brandon: Hello.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Brandon: Evening. Yeah, I'm just basically calling to inquire something about, basically, is it fornication to be with somebody for about 10 years and never have went to the court house or a church and got married?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well now, it could be. What I mean by that is, there are countries that practice, as a rule, they kind of have common law marriage, and marriages aren't all registered by the government. In North America, all states have laws where they register marriages. Some states will recognize what they call common law marriage under certain conditions after a while.

Some states have no common law marriage. For a Christian, why would you want anyone to be dubious about whether or not you are married? Why would you want to have doubts? So I think it’s a bad witness. The Bible tells us to avoid the very appearance of evil; so if people are living like they’re married, as a Christian, they should be married. They shouldn't be having the benefits and the prerogatives of marriage before marriage.

You know, if folks love each other and have that kind of commitment where they’re doing things that can result in children, then why not seal the commitment? If they don’t have that commitment, then they shouldn’t be getting involved in hanky-panky.

Brandon: Right, okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I'm old fashioned. I didn’t use to be, but I’m old fashioned about that now because I think the Bible is. You look at what’s happening in our culture and our society with family breakdown and I think we're seeing the fruit of some of the liberal ideas about people living together without the benefit of marriage. I performed a marriage about a week ago. It is a beautiful service, but it's really a covenant that you make before God and to somebody, and a promise that should be kept.

Brandon: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Brandon, we have a study guide dealing with the subject of marriage, and it’s a great study guide. It’s to the point. It’s called, "Keys for a Happy Marriage." We'll send that out to you for free. All you need to do is call our resource line, that’s 1-800-835-6747. For anyone listening wanting to learn how you can have a happy marriage, call and ask for the resource, "Keys for a Happy Marriage," 1-800-835-6747. Well Pastor Doug, our next caller is Sheryl. Let’s see if we can get her online, maybe we'll go to Mitch. We’ll come back to Sheryl. Mitch, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hey Mitch, you're on the air, Bible answers Live.

Mitch: Hi Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi. How are you doing?

Mitch: I'm doing well. I've got a question. It's just a general question about Simon Magus in Acts chapter 8.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Mitch: I understand how he was, attempted to--at least by the Holy Spirit--and was rebuffed by the apostle by doing so; and he's not really spoken of after that or mentioned in the Bible after that. But outside of that, historically, I'm just wondering was there any, I guess, reference to him having any doings with the church after that point, as far as trying to bring up, I guess, a false church, for the lack of a better word?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, I actually preached a message on Simon, oh probably six months ago, I’m guessing. It'll be archived in the Amazing Facts' website; but he does appear in history, not in the Bible history, but there are at least some legends. I don’t know whether it's true or not. Some of these ancient extra biblical stories you don’t know. But it does tell that he went to Rome and he kind of apostatized from the church.

The way the story is left in the book of Acts it sounds like he repented when Peter spoke to him about what a bad thing it was to think you could buy the power of the Spirit, because it, of course, had been purchase by Christ's blood. So for us to offer money for it was really an insult. But old habits die slow. He was so used to manipulating people and charging for his sorcery and his prophecies that, when the apostles came along and he saw their miracles, first he thought maybe it was just a side show like he had, and then he realized this is the real thing.

Where he went from there, the Bible is not clear. The last thing we hear is the rebuke of Peter and Simon says, “Don't let these things happen to me," or, "Pray that this does not come upon me.” That's where the story leaves it. Are you there?

Mitch: Yeah, I'm there.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We've got a lesson that talks about, "Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers?" It talks about the gift of prophecy. This is what Simon claimed to be, a great prophet. We can send you a copy of that and you can probably find the message that I gave on Simon in--I think it's actually called, Signs and Wonders, at the Amazing Facts' website.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for that study guide is 1-800-835-6747. The study guide is entitled, "Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers?" We'll send that out to you, dealing with the gift of prophecy.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And the Amazing Facts' website, very easy, AmazingFacts.org.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The next caller is Sheryl and she's listening from New Jersey. Sheryl, welcome to the program.

Sheryl: Yes, hello.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Sheryl.

Sheryl : Hi. I'm Sheryl from New Jersey. I just have a long question. It has been troubling my soul for a very long time, and my spirit, and no one can seem to help me with this. It's about predestination. I want know if that's true or not; because, you know, I'm a good person. I try not to hurt anybody. I help people, and I feel I still will continue to be this way the rest of my life. However, I want to know if before we even existed, did God already determine who is going to hell and who is going to heaven? Can you probably help me with that and put my mind off that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. No, God does not pre-decide who is going to be saved and who is lost. There's a difference between God knowing everything (because He's God, He knows everything) and God making things happen. If God made everything happen, then God would have been the one who made Adam sin, so all of this unfortunate mess came about. And then that makes God an accomplice in sin.

But God didn't want sin. God made His creatures free, including a beautiful angel named Lucifer. Lucifer chose on his own to rebel against God. Adam and Eve freely chose to listen to the temptation of the devil, instead of the command of God. Then God now gives man a choice to repent of their sins and come to Christ and be saved, or not. God is not up in the sky arbitrarily going, "Eeny-meeny-miny-moe, who will I save and who will I condemn?" The Lord is not willing, the Bible says, for any to perish. He wants everyone to be saved.

Sheryl: Right. One more thing I don't understand. Where does this number come from, 144,000? Does that mean something to you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Sheryl: Like the number of people ... I don't know what's that about. Can you tell me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well that comes from Revelation. The 144,000 comes from Revelation chapter 7, and it talks about a special group in the last days who are sealed, and it's 12 times 12,000. Just like Jesus had 12 Apostles when He went to reach the Jewish people with the message of truth and then they went to the world, before Christ comes back, He's going have 12 times 12,000 spiritual leaders that will go to the world.

So I'll send you a free book on that if you'd like Sheryl. You just have to call a phone number. We'll take your information, and I've got a book on, "Who Are the 144,000?"

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's actually two books that we'll send to Sheryl. The one is dealing with the subject of, "Can a Saved Person Choose to be Lost?" predestination; and Sheryl, if you'd call our resource number and ask for the book on the 144,000 and also, you can ask for the book, "Can a Saved Person Choose to be Lost?" we'll be happy to send that to you. The number is 1-800-835-6747; that's 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line. If you have a Bible question, the number to call to the studio is 1-800-463-7297; that's 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Glen and he is listening from New York. Glen, welcome to the program.

Glen: Good evening Pastors. I have a question regarding Genesis chapter 11. After God has let everybody out of the ark and tells them to disperse and repopulate the earth and so forth, they don’t, and God gets upset and He says, "Let us go down," and basically straighten the situation out. And I wanted to get your opinion on who is God referring to as "us"? Why wasn't it was just Him?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you'll also see that same phrase in the Genesis chapter 1, where God says, "Let Us make man in Our image." So this is one of the early examples that God is plural in three Persons of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. See, if you think about it for a moment, the New Testament tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God." In order for you to be with someone else you can't be just with...one entity can't be with itself. It's got to be another entity.

So the Word was with God the Father, Jesus is the Word, "...and the Word was God. All things that were made were made by Him." So, everything that was made was made by God the Son, Christ. God committed all creative license to Jesus. And so, you've got God the Father; then, of course, Christ comes along; and He explains that there's also God the Spirit. Well, you even have the Spirit there in Genesis. It says, "The Spirit moved upon the face of the waters."

So you've got these three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, Son and Spirit. They said, "Let us make man in our image." They're the ones who said, "Let us go down and confound their language," in Genesis 11. But God is one God, in the way that a husband and wife become one, Jesus said, or the apostles were supposed to be one. God is perfectly united. He's not like the gods of the pagans where they've got their territories. You still there?

Glen: And then when...yup, yes I am. In the New Testament Jesus says, Before Abraham, I was. And that also leaves me to just a quick question on Melchizedek. Do you believe that Melchizedek was Jesus?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well no, and yes. No, Melchizedek was a real person. Yes because Melchizedek is a very strong type of Christ. There are certain individuals and stories in the Bible that are analogies or types of Christ like, when Abraham went up the mountain with Isaac. That was a type of the plan of salvation. Melchizedek, it tells us, was a king and a priest. Jesus is our King and He's our High Priest. His name "Melchizedek" means "king of righteousness," and "Zidek" means "righteousness."

Here you've got this king of righteousness who is a priest, and he was a king over a place called Salem. Later it was known as "Jeru-Salem" or "peace." That's what "shalom" means. And it says he brings forth bread and wine to Abraham. Well Jesus commissioned--commissioned is not the right word--He instituted or inaugurated the new covenant with bread and wine at the Last Supper. So all of this very strong symbolism in the brief mentioned of Melchizedek, all are types of Christ; but was it really Jesus, or was it a real person? I think it was a real person.

Glen: But there's no genealogy connected with Melchizedek and up to that point in Genesis, the Bible doesn’t (inaudible 26:59) to tell with regards to the folks that are mentioned,...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That's right.

Glen: ...who they were married to, who their kids were, how long they lived and so on and so forth.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup. Paul says, "...without beginning or end," and I think Paul is just saying that he appears out of nowhere and then disappears, like Christ, who has no beginning or no end. There are many characters in the Bible where there's no genealogy given. They just sort of showed up and disappear. Well there's no genealogy before Balaam; so that doesn't mean that it was the Spirit. It just means that he's a type of Christ, in that he appears and he disappears. Christ is from everlasting to everlasting.

I’ve got a study, actually. It's not printed yet. I'm just writing a book right now where I go into the types of Melchizedek in the Bible, a number of the types and analogies of Christ through the Bible stories. We'll tell you more when it comes around. You're listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, we're going be coming up on a break in just a few moments so we don’t want our listeners to go anywhere. We'll be taking more Bible questions after the break. But before we go to the break, we'd like to just remind folks of a great website dealing with Bible truths called, BibleUniverse.com, where you can actually go and enroll in a free online Bible study course.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, few things will change your life faster than going through one of the Bible study courses that you'll find here at Bible Universe. Of course, that's a great website, Bible Universe. You can log on there, and not only can you do Bible studies in English, we've got the Amazing Facts' study guides series. There's the Storacles of Prophecy if you would like to better understand Bible Prophecy; and they're in many languages. There's French, there's Spanish, there's Portuguese, and a number of other languages.

You might want to send the link to other people. Check it out. Pass it on. Get people involved in Bible study. It's the Word that changes hearts. You get someone involved in Bible study and something begins to happen in their lives. It can save marriages as well. That's BibleUniverse.com. We'll be back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We are back friends. You're listening to Bible Answers Live. If you have come along somewhere on the way, this is a Bible answer program where you can call in. If you have a Bible question, something you wondered about in the Word of God or the Christian faith, then give us a call. It's a free phone call, the program is live. Here’s the number. Are you ready? 1-800-GOD-SAYS.

If you have your pencil now, that's 1-800-463-7297. You can even write it in pen. 1-800-463-7297 to bring your questions into the studio. I know we have a lot of new listeners that are listening on XM radio. We invite you to give us a call. Just keep your eye on the road. What shall I more say, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, we want to just welcome a new radio station in Hilo, Hawaii, that's KCIF 90.3. They're listening live right now so anyone listening in Hilo on 90.3, welcome to Bible Answers Live. We'd love to hear from you. You can call in your Bible question, 1-800-463-7297. Alright, well let’s go back to the phone lines. We have Demetrius who is listening in Sacramento, California on KFIA. Demetrius, welcome to the program.

Demetrius: Yes, hello. How are you doing Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doin’ well. How are you?

Demetrius: I'm doing pretty good. I just had a question. I've always known through Scripture that Christ was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday. But I’ve heard these different theories that He didn't rise on Sunday, that He was crucified on another day. So I’m just wondering if you can touch maybe on that a little bit, and if you have some knowledge about where that theory may be coming from?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I think I can help you. Most people who try to reallocate the day of the crucifixion are basing it on one Scripture that you find in Matthew chapter 12, dealing with the sign of Jonah. You find in Matthew 12, verse 39, Jesus is speaking. He's talking the Pharisees and the scribes. And He said, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall no sign be given but the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so the Son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth."

And people say, "Well, if Jesus died Friday, most people understand that the Last Supper was Thursday night, that Christ then was betrayed that night. He was tried through the night. He was finally condemned by Pilate Friday morning, because it says they wanted to get His body off the cross before the Sabbath. That was a high Sabbath because it was both the seventh day of the week and the Passover landed at the same time. Then He rose early in the morning on the first day of the week, which is Sunday."

But if that's true, how could Jesus be three days and three nights in the tomb if He was crucified on Friday and He was in the tomb Friday night and Saturday night, and He rose Sunday morning? You've got two nights; but it says distinctly in this verse, "three days and three nights." So this verse has generated an attempt to say, "Well, the crucifixion maybe happened an earlier day or Jesus didn't rise on Sunday," and there's all these theories and efforts to try and recalculate. Really, the problem can be resolved by just explaining "heart of the earth" here does not mean the tomb.

When you go from one language to another, sometimes things sound different. I just know that my grandfather was German and he would say in English, "You're going to throw the cow some hay over the fence," when in German you say, "You throw over the fence the cow some hay." It sounds like you're throwing the cow over the fence. That gives you a different meaning.

When it says "heart of the earth" here, it doesn't mean the tomb. Everyone automatically assumes this is the tomb. This was the time when Christ would be in the hands of the world; "in the heart of the earth," meaning "the midst of the world. " He would be in the clutches of the devil for three days and three nights. Christ was bearing the sins of the lost for three days and three nights.

When Jesus went to the tomb Thursday night after the Last Supper, He said, "Now is the hour and now is the time of darkness." Three times He says, "Now is the hour." Something began Thursday night. Every other time in Christ's life when the mob tried to arrest Him or stone Him, God protected Him. He wasn't harmed. But now when they finally came to arrest Him, they tied Him up, they beat Him. They put a hood over His head and He was mistreated, and God did not intervene. He was "in the heart of the earth" for three days and three nights. It's not the tomb. It's talking about His bearing our sins.

It's like when we give the Lord's Prayer. We say, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." That doesn't mean in the tomb. "In earth" does not mean in the tomb. It's talking about "in the world." So once people understand that, they stop trying to move the crucifixion date. Jesus was crucified Friday. It's called the Preparation Day in the Bible. He kept the Sabbath, even in His death. He rested from sundown Friday after the Sabbath was over. He rose to continue His work as our High Priest and our Intercessor before the Father.

I have a book I can send you where I talk about the sign of Jonah and this very verse. If you'd like a free copy Demetrius, we'll send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled, The Sign of Jonah. We'll send it to anybody who calls and asks for it. It’s 1-800-835-6747. That number again is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, The Sign of Jonah, and we will send that out. Our next caller is Lois and she's listening in New York. Lois, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Lois? New York? Or is this Louis?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Is it Louis? Sorry, Louis in New York.

Louis: Yes, from New York.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And your question?

Louis: My question is, I want to know why is it that in certain parts of the Bible it says that Jesus is coming back for the church, and in other parts of the Bible it says that God is coming back for the church? So that confuses me a little bit.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well now, where is the verse where it says God is coming back for the church?

Louis: Well, I don't have it with me right now. I just read it you know. Right now I'm on the road actually. I'm not in front of a Bible.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. Well first of all, there would be no contradiction because Jesus is coming in the glory of the Father the Bible tells us, and that I think you find in Matthew 28. It's Christ who is ultimately the One coming back, and we're going be caught up to meet Him in the air.

Louis: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So there's really no conflict because Christ is God the Son. You've got three parts of the Godhead, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You know what, I think Louis just dropped off. He said he was on the road and hopefully we didn't lose him. We did lose him. Well, if you're still listening Louis, we've got a book we'll send you for free that talks about the second coming and the rapture. It's called, Anything But Secret. It deals with the subject of the second coming. We'll send you a free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for that is, again, 1-800-835-6747. That is our resource line, and the book, Anything But Secret. Just ask for it, Anything But Secret, talking about the second coming of Jesus. We have Jaydee who listening from Ontario, Canada. Jaydee, welcome to the program.

Jaydee: Hi, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You're welcome. And you're question?

Jaydee: My question is this, my boyfriend and I have been engaging in things that we shouldn't be doing, but we waited till after he got divorced. He doesn't appear interested in marrying me but he says he loves me very much. I just want to remain pure. If I give myself to Jesus, then that means...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, are you afraid of losing him?

Jaydee: I'm afraid of losing him, but I know that God is (unintelligible 39:11).

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, well you're on the right track. I think the Holy Spirit is convicting you a little bit, Jaydee, and Jesus wants you to put Him first. If you seek first His Kingdom, either this individual is going be going through a conversion and want to do things the right way, or the Lord may have someone else. But you really need to put the Lord first because you're never going have peace if you're doing things that you know are inappropriate and you're not married.

You know, I actually have a book right now that we've just finished on the subject. It talks about marriage, and divorce, and remarriage, and purity. We'll send you a copy of that. It's a brand new book Jaydee, if you just call the resource number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. The book is entitled, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. You can ask for it, it's 1-800-835-6747. We'll send that book to you for free, or anybody wanting to learn more about that subject.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And Jaydee we'll be praying for you that God gives you the courage to follow your conscience.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Amen. We have Doug who is listening from South Carolina. Doug, welcome to the program.

Doug: Hi, Doug. Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good name.

Doug: Okay. Okay, in the middle of the Garden, was there two trees or one tree? And if it was the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil, did Eve not even know what good and evil was to even know not to even eat of it or then she'd surely die? They both surely died? Can you kind of explain that to me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, I think the Bible tells us that there were two different trees. You've got the tree of life...

Doug: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...and you've got the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One was a good tree. They were invited to eat all they wanted from that tree. You can see it says in Genesis 2:17 about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "Thou shall not eat of it. From the day that you eat thereof you shalt surely die."

Doug: So she didn't have knowledge. She didn't even know what really dying was at that point really.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I would disagree. I think that when Adam and Eve were created, unlike most people, most of us are born babies and we're not even self-aware until we're two or three years old, we start realizing we're here. Adam and Eve came from the factory right out of the package. They came preprogramed with a certain amount of intelligence, and probably a lot more intelligence than we would ever developed in our lives.

They were actually hardwired with that because right away, the first day of Adam's life, he knows how to name animals. He has the gift of speech.

Doug: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: He doesn't have to crawl and then learn to walk; and I think God told them, "There's a battle between good and evil. It's in the universe. There's an enemy out there that would like to talk over this world and tempt you. The only place he can harass you is by this tree. Do not eat from the fruit of that tree or you'll die," die meaning absence of life, "you'll cease to exist. You'll perish." That's why I think they did know what that meant. They maybe didn't understand all the consequences of it, but I think they knew that it was pretty grave, pardon the pun!

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Chuckles]

Doug: Yes, and He gave us choice of that. That's good. I like it that He gave us choice, because we have a choice if we want Him as our (unintelligible) kind of like.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Dying is pretty grave. Exactly. Yeah, you can’t force love. So some of these churches that teach that people can’t even choose, well then how can you love if you have no choice? It's forced. God wants to love Him.

Doug: He wants us to come to Him because we want His love, and I want his love,...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That's right.

Doug: ...and thank you Jesus for allowing us to have that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: He wants to have a relationship with us, exactly.

Doug: Yes, yes, yes. Well thank you so much for your love, for your love.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, absolutely and hey, bless your heart and keep studying.

Doug: Thanks for all the love. Thank you much!

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, take care.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Jacky. She is listening in Michigan. Jacky, welcome to the program.

Jacky: Hello. My question is does God call some people to singleness? And if so, what if you have a desire to be married?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Very important question, very good question. By the way, believe it or not, the book that we just referenced on marriage, divorce and remarriage does touch on the subject of what about those who are single. Some people are--they're basically called by God to serve Him as singles. You've got a few examples of that in the Bible. People often point to Paul.

Some people don’t catch it, but Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were eunuchs, meaning that they kind of lost their regular capacity for marriage; and they served God in a great way and actually affected history, in spite of the fact they could never marry. Even Jesus said some people are born eunuchs.

The word "eunuch" there is not just talking about men. It's talking about people who are single. It says some people are made eunuchs of men and some people choose to be eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. So obviously, the Lord included that there are people who serve God in their singleness, foremost among them being Jesus himself.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you also have the apostle Paul.

Jacky: So, what if you have a desire in your heart to be married? Will he...is that desire in there for a reason, or will that desire be that you are meant to be, you know...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Now, do you mind if I ask a personal question? Nobody knows who you are, and most don’t know who I am; but are you worried about is that your fate?

Jacky: Yeah, sometimes. I recently became a Christian two years ago and I was dating a Jehovah's Witness and I broke up with him. I want to marry a Christian man. Sometimes I have fears that, you know...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Could I ask you how old you are? You sound like you're still in the first half of your life to me.

Jacky: I'm 27 [laughs]. I sound young.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, but you're at that age where you start looking at the clock...

Jacky: Yeah. No, I know.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...and you're wondering, "Well, I wonder how long it's going to be. If I'm going to have a family, I don't want to wait too long."

Jacky: Then people would tell me, "Well if you have the desire in your heart, God wouldn't put that desire in your heart if it wasn’t meant for you." And I even prayed, "God, if this isn't for me, take the desire from my heart," but...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well first of all, don’t you worry about it. Don’t worry. First of all, if God wants you to be with someone, He's going work it out. I don’t think you need to surf all the single websites, even the Christian ones. I think if you have faith and say, "Lord, I'm Yours." By the way, when my wife and I got married she was 27.

If you say, "Lord, I'm Yours and I'm willing to wait for the right person, or no person." Then you just have peace that you do what God gives you to do. Whether it's education or work or serving Him in your local church, you do that with all your heart and you watch and see if He doesn't surprise you with some happiness. So what form that will take, I don't know; but you put Him first and He will surprise you with happiness.

Jacky: Okay, alright.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The desires are normal, because if you're healthy, God gave every healthy male and female these natural inherent desires for the companionship of the opposite sex. So that's normal, that's expected. Just don't get carried away with it.

Jacky: Yeah, but some people will say, "Well, God won’t put the desire in your heart if it wasn't for you," like when it [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: No, that's not true. I desire eating five gallons of ice cream a day, but that doesn't mean I'm supposed to. So, you can have all kinds of desires that need to be controlled and directed, you know what I'm saying?

Jacky: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So the time will come. You trust the Lord, be patient. You sound like an intelligent young lady. You just put God first. Seeks first His kingdom and everything else will be added. There’s a promise for you.

Jacky: Okay. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, God bless Jacky.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Victor who is listening in Oklahoma. Victor, welcome to the program.

Victor: Thank you. God bless you Pastor Doug and all of you at Amazing Facts.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Absolutely.

Victor: Can you hear me all right? Okay. I was online. I see that the Seventh-Day Adventists are continuously being attacked, and I see that they've exposed you as the reptilian from the bureau.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: [Laughs] You know, for entertainment every now and then I’ll see on the internet some of the things. People think I’m giving secret masonic hand signals when I preach too.

Victor: [Laughs] it's crazy. We love you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So you run into all kinds of stuff. But what was your question tonight? Oh I think we just bumped--Victor just got bumped off. Let's see if we can get him back, hang on. There's a gremlin in the phone or something.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Victor, I think you're back on.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Your question tonight?

Victor: The church of Thyatira, I was wondering what the historical dating was on that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Pastor Ross might help me here, but I think the church of Thyatira is that 538 period of Jezebel; so I think that reaches from approximately 450 or 538, somewhere in there, up to maybe the Protestant Reformation. Now for our friends who are listening, the historic view of prophecy for Revelation, the seven churches cover the span of church history from Jesus' time until the second coming.

The church just before Jesus comes is the church or Laodicea. The church right after Christ rose was the church of Ephesus, full of that first love. During the Dark Ages, there was an age called the church of Thyatira where there was a lot of apostasy and corruption. Victor is wanting to know approximately where would you put those dates. Different scholars might do the starting point and ending point differently. But I think the church of Thyatira lands right in there, from like 538 A.D. where the church sort of became a state institution, until, oh about 1798.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sometimes referred to as the Dark--

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Dark Ages.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The Dark Ages, during that time period.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Does that help a little bit Victor?

Victor: Yes. Do you think there's a spiritual application for individuals?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I'm glad you asked that. The message to the seven churches not only applies to the history of the church; I've observed that Christians can sometimes go through the entire cycle. Some people come to Christ, and if they're not careful, they'll end up starting with that first love, they lose their first love. And if they lose their first love, they can end up like Laodicea.

Individuals can go through all of the different phases of those seven churches, and sometimes a denomination. You know some protestant denominational will be born with revival and they've got this first love. Four generations or five generations later, they’re lukewarm, Laodicea.

Victor: Right, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So it's a very interesting study in the evolution of what can happen to a church, all those different phases and stages. It's so obvious that the Bible is inspired when you look at the wisdom. A fisherman couldn't have dreamed that up.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Most scholars will place the time, I just looked it up here with reference to a time period for the church of Thyatira, about 606 to 1563.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's roughly the time period of the Dark Ages.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup, alright. Hey, thank you very much Victor. I don’t know; we don’t really have a lesson on the seven churches.

Pastor Jëan Ross: No, no.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But if you go through the Storacles of Prophecy at Bible Universe, BibleUniverse.com, you do the study there on the Storacles of Prophecy and it does talk about the ages of the church.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Mark and he's listening in Palm Coast, Florida. Mark, welcome to the program.

Mark: Thank you. Thanks for having me. You do a great job Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Thank you.

Mark: I have a quick question on Revelation 17 and the beast in Revelation 17, the seven heads. I understand what the word represents. I understand what the water represents, and the beast. It's the seven heads that I want to know if you could give some light on. Also a few months ago, you were talking about the time of trouble. You told a theory about how long that might last, but you never actually went into the theory. If you have time, if you would kind of touch on that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. We'll take them one at a time because we are getting at the tail-end here. The seven heads in Revelation 17, there is a dual meaning given right in the prophecy. First of all, the angel says, "The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits."

Mark: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Most commentators believe that's a first reference to the seven hills of Rome.

Mark: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Of course, at the end of the chapter it says, "The woman is that great city that rules over the kings of the earth." What was the great city that ruled over the kings of the earth when John wrote Revelation? Well he was imprisoned by Rome.

Mark: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So there's very little contest on that. But then it also tells us that those seven heads represent the seven kings. These are seven kingdoms that persecuted and occupied God's people; and that would be--it says, "...five are fallen." So it starts with Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, those are the five that are fallen.

Then you've got pagan Rome, and then papal Rome being the seventh. Now, he gets a deadly wound and he comes back again; but that's typically what has been taught about what those seven heads are. Is that your understanding Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Then your second question was my theory about the small time of trouble. That, again friends, this is just Doug speaking, not even by permission I don’t think. But I just looked in the Bible and I've noticed that three-and-a-half-year time period has shown up several times in the Bible, not only during the famine in the days of Elijah, but there’s, of course, a three-and-a-half year period from the crucifixion of Jesus until the stoning of Stephen.

It's often synonymous with a time of rejection and persecution. The ministry of Christ, three and a half years. I've wondered if that time of trouble, when you can’t buy or sell in the last days and time of persecution, would be that long. I don’t know. So don’t anybody say, “Pastor Doug teaches this.” It's just in my own private musings. I've wondered about that.

Mark: [Laughs] Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So anyway, some people then would look in--well, even the book of Esther begins with a three-and-a-half-year period. I don’t know if you noticed that. The third year of the reign of Artaxerxes, he has a feast lasting half a year; it's 180 days, so 360 days to the Jewish year. So Esther begins with a three-and-a-half-year period. It’s very interesting. Hey, I hope that helps a little bit Mark. If nothing, I probably created more confusion, but at least it's interesting confusion. That’s the idea. You want to create interesting confusion.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Louis and he's listening from Fontana, California. Louis, welcome to the program. We have about a minute and a half.

Louis: Hi Pastors.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Louis: Thank you for taking my call. I guess my question is if you're backslidden, are you still saved? I mean, are you lukewarm? Are you cold? I mean, how does that work?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, if we've dropped out of our relationship with the Lord, the Bible tells us that unless we repent, our candlestick is going be removed. Some people say, “Well I'm a Christian, but I'm not a practicing Christian.” Well, that's kind of no such thing. Jesus said, "You can't say, 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things I say."

Christ said that it will not be those who say “Lord, Lord,” but those that do the will of My Father. So if you slid from your relationship with the Lord like the prodigal son, you've got to get up and come back home; and you don’t want to die in that far country. That's, you know, dangerous territory. So the idea that "once you're saved, you can do anything and you can’t be lost" is a very dangerous idea.

At the same time, we don't teach that you go from day to day being "saved, lost; saved, lost; saved, lost" every time you pray. I think that you can have assurance as a Christian, but you can't presume and tempt the Lord by going out there and pitching your tent with the devil and say, "Well I accepted Jesus when I was 12 years old, so it doesn't matter what I do." The Lord warns us that that's like the pig who is washed returning to wallowing the mire.

Friends, we're out of time, but there's so much more. Go the website, AmazingFacts.org. You can read there, study there; and please make a donation to keep us on the air. Thank you, and God bless.

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